As I was photographing the Brownfield House for yesterday’s post, I saw what appeared to be a slightly oversized bird house. Fascinated, I aimed my camera for a shot only to see through the viewfinder the words “Little Free Library”.
Last week I first heard about “The Little Free Library”. It is such an exciting concept. Begun in Madison, Wisconsin, it has already spread to California and has recently begun making its way into the heartland.
The goal of The Little Free Library project is to encourage businesses and individuals to establish their own tiny libraries to make books easily available throughout the community. While focused on encouraging literacy and a love of learning, a secondary goal is to encourage healthy and interactive communities. What is unique about these libraries is their size. They are tiny, really tiny. The largest may be redesigned telephone booths. The smallest aren’t much larger than bird houses. And they are so cute.
The way the library works is that containers are placed to be easily accessible to the public. Neighbors–and strangers–are encouraged to borrow a book, take a book, leave a book or borrow a book at one library and return it at another.
It is truly a “public” library in the best sense of the word. While the containers have doors of some sort to allow for easy access to take a book or donate a book, and to protect books from the weather, the containers have no locks or keys. This library simply instructs the observer to “Take One”. No lecture about rules, due dates, fines or fees. Just take one.
The goal of the movement’s founders is to create over 2510 libraries. Since this was the first such library I have encountered, I assume the movement is far from reaching its goal. But with the support of America’s Community Bank, there is now also a second tiny library in Blue Springs. Hopefully more are on the way. The owners of the Brownfield House, excited by my excitement, told me about their interest in the project and directed me to this tiny library in front of the bank building.
Do you want to be the first in your neighborhood to provide a library? No staff, no employment taxes, no payroll. All it takes is a little creativity and the best books to share with others–your own.